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Wright Studies
 
F.B. Henderson Residence, Elmhurst, IL (1901 - S.057)
 
  Introduction    1901    Chicago Architectural Sketch Club 1902    Ausgeführte Bauten 1910    Nicholls 1910-1920 
  Gilman Lane 1935-1945    Manson 1937-1941    Richard Nickel 1960-1967    Interior 1992    Interior 2008 
  Exterior 2008    Books    Images & Articles 
 
Introduction
 

For those that appreciate Wright’s work, there is a conception and birth. For myself it was the Henderson House. The realization that this home was more than a house. There was depth I couldn’t quite put my finger on. There was more than met the eye. It truly was a piece of art. And I needed a clearer understanding.
       The Henderson Residence was one of Wright’s earliest Prairie styled homes and only home in Elmhurst.  His first experiment with the Prairie style was the Municipal Boathouse, Madison (S.022, 1893). Distinctively Prairie. He touched on it again a year later when he designed the Winslow Residence and Stable (S.024-025, 1984). In 1899 he designed the Husser Residence (S.046). Another precursor to the Prairie style. But it wasn’t until 1900 with the Bradley Residence (S.052) and Stable (S.053) that the Prairie style fully blossomed. In 1901 came the Willits Residence (S.054), Gardener’s Cottage and Stable (S.055). There was a slight departure with the Hickox Residence (S.056). But the Henderson Residence is authentic Prairie. In essence the Henderson Residence was his fourth Prairie styled house.
       Wright describes this new prairie styled home in An Autobiography, Wright 1943 pp 141-145, (His Life and His Architecture, Twombly 1979 pp 66-67).
       Wright had a brief partnership (1901-1902) with architect Henry Webster Tomlinson (pp 5-6), which was first mentioned in a print announcement dated January, 1901 (Decorative Designs, Hanks, page 76). This was the only partnership Wright ever admitted to. As a result, Wright and Tomlinson are listed as the architects of the Henderson Residence.  But Grant argues that Tomlinson was strictly an office manager and business agent.
       Frank Bignell Henderson commissioned Wright to design a home in 1901. He was born in Cincinnati on February 2, 1863 to parents John J. and Sophie (Squier) Henderson. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati. On April 16, 1895 he Married Nellie C. Agar, of Chicago and had one daughter, Ellen Agar. According to records, they purchased the lot from William H. Emery. They lived in the home until 1908 when they moved to Elkhart, Indiana when he became Vice President of the Brass Mfg. Co.  Francis L. and Marion Hankey purchased the home in 1908 and lived there until 1920 with their three daughters. In 1911 they enlarged the property by purchasing Lot 2. In 1920 Clarence L. Rosa purchased the home and lived there for six years. In 1926

  Walter W. and Marion S. Birkin purchased the home and lived there for 19 years. In 1945 Harley R. Kimmel purchased the home and lived there for one year. In 1946 Louise R Haines purchased the home and lived there for one year. In 1947 Chester & Ruth Shaffer purchased the home and lived there for 21 years with their four children. In 1968 Roger A. and Joan Schmiege purchased the home and lived there for twenty years with their three daughters. In 1988 David and Joyce McArdle purchased the home and lived there for six years. The McArdle’s were responsible for the restoration of the home, working with Don Kalec, director of the Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park, in planning the extensive restoration. In 1994 Patrick and Patricia Fahey purchased the home and are presently the owners. As of this date they are attempting to sell the home.
       There were many classic Prairie styled details. The basic materials are wood, stucco and brick. Strong horizontal lines, low-pitched roof, broad overhanging eaves, horizontal rows of leaded glass windows and doors, the prominent centrally located fireplace and chimney, a terrace and covered porch. There are over 80 art glass windows, elegant woodwork, three brick fireplaces, and many original built-ins.  The 27 foot long entry Hallway includes built-in seating and stippled ceiling finish. The trim is stained mahogany and the flooring is quarter-sawn maple wood. The original gas two light wall sconces were converted to electricity, and then later were replaced by Art Glass prairie styled single vertical sconces.  All the radiators are encased with original and custom wood grill work. The 60 foot expanse from the Library on the west end, through the Living Room to the Dining Room on the east. The magnificent twelve foot wide brick fireplace is the center of the home. The octagonal Library includes built-in bookcases, and the matching octagonal Dining Room has built in cabinets and buffets. The hanging light fixture has been replace a number of times over the years. Art glass French doors in the Living Room lead to the terrace on the south end.
       By 1935-1940 the back terrace had been covered and the floor above it was enclosed. In 1975, the Terrace was restored to it’s original condition by removing the covering and the floor above it. Extensive restoration began on the exterior in the 1980s and the interior in the early1990s.
     Text by Douglas Steiner, Copyright November 2008.
 
 
 
Henderson Residence Circa 1901
     
View of the Living Room, Fireplace and Library from the Dining Room. Horizontal rows of art glass windows cover all five walls of the Library cove. Two-light gas wall sconces and built-in cabinets line the Library wall. The radiator were left exposed. The doorway   just to the left of the fireplace leads to the long hall and front entrance. Deep beams span the width of the Living Room. The massive twelve foot wide brick fireplace centers the Living Room and the home.  Most likely photographed...  Continued...
 

 
 
 
Chicago Architectural Sketch Club - 1902
     

The Chicago Architectural Sketch Club was formed in the spring of 1881. The Club published an annual exhibition catalog which contained a list of members and juried entries as well as

  illustrations of those designs. The club's first illustrated catalog was for its fifth exhibition in 1892. The Chicago Architectural Club sponsored the exhibitions and published the catalogs through 1920.
 
This illustration was published in the 1902 Chicago Architectural Sketch Club Catalog, page 57.
 
 
 
Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe von Frank Lloyd Wright, 1910
 

Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe von Frank Lloyd Wright was published by Ernst Wasmuth in 1910, in Berlin.  Each set consisted of two portfolios and 100 separate plates (sheets).  Printed in German. The complete set consisted of 72 plates

  numbered I through LXIV and included eight with a or b. 28 were tissue overlays and were attached to the corresponding plates.  Each set also included a 31 page introduction, consisting of unbound sheets, folded once.
 
Tafel XXVII Wohnhaus Für Herrn Henderson im Vorort Elmhurst, Ill. (Plate 27) 1910.
 
Detail of Tafel XXVII (Plate 27) 1910.
 
Floor plan copyright 1993, “The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion” Storrer, William Allin, page 54.
 
 
 
Images from the Eric Milton Nicholls Collection, circa 1910-1920
     

These images are from the Eric Milton Nicholls Collection and are the earliest images of the Henderson Residence.  The NLA dates these images circa 1910-1966.  Judging from the surroundings

  and maturity of the landscaping, we have dated these images between 1910-20. Courtesy of the National Library of Australia. Continued...
 

 
 
 
Images by Gilman Lane, circa 1935-1940
     

These images were photographed by Gilman Lane and are dated 1935-1945.   However, image number one was published In The Nature of Material, Hitchcock (1942) Plate 67, so they most likely were taken before 1941.  Little can be found about Gilman

  Lane.  He photographed building in the Chicago area including many of Wright’s work. His photographs were given to the Oak Park Public Library after his death in 1961. SAIC dates these images between 1935-1945. Courtesy Oak...  Continued...
 
 
 
 
Images By Grant Carpenter Manson, 1937-1941
     

Architectural historian Grant Manson first met Mr. Wright in 1938. He had decided to make Wright the subject of his doctoral dissertation while at Harvard. He felt it essential to meet Wright and so in September he headed toward Spring Green from Massachusetts.  Upon reaching Chicago, he placed a call to Spring Green and asked the operator “to put him through to Mr. Wright”. He heard his voice for the first time. Manson took photographs between 1937 and 1941 while researching for his

  doctoral dissertation titled “Frank Lloyd Wright's Work Before 1910".  While a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, he elaborated his thesis and published his book “Frank Lloyd Wright to 1910: The First Golden Age" in 1958. Upon publication, Manson hand delivered a copy of the book to Wright in New York.
       Mr. Manson gave the photographs and other materials to the library in July 1973.  Grant Carpenter Manson (1904-1997).  Courtesy Oak Park Public Library.  Continued...
     
 
 
 
Images By Richard Nickel, 1960-67, possibly as early as the late 1950s
     

This set of three images were photographed by Richard Nickel in the 1960s, possibly as early as the late 50s judging by the landscape, for the Historic American Building Survey (HABS). Nickel (1928-1972) was killed in April 1972, when a stairwell in the Chicago Stock Exchange building collapsed on him. HABS

  began in 1933 and has been administered jointly by the Library of Congress and the National Park Service. The Library of Congress has digitized photographs, drawings and other data from the project. A number of HABS photographs were taken by Chicago photographer and preservationist Richard Nickel.  Continued...
     
 
 
 
Interior Images 1992
     

These four interior images were photographed in 1992 after extensive restoration of the interior.  There are over 80 art glass windows, elegant woodwork, three brick fireplaces, and many original built-ins.  The 27 foot long entry Hallway includes built-in seating and stippled ceiling finish. The trim is stained mahogany and the flooring is quarter-sawn maple wood. The original gas two light wall sconces were converted to electricity, and then later were replaced by Art Glass prairie styled single vertical sconces.  All the radiators are encased with original and custom wood

  grill work. The 60 foot expanse from the Library on the west end, through the Living Room to the Dining Room on the east. The magnificent twelve foot wide brick fireplace is the center of the home. The octagonal Library includes built-in bookcases, and the matching octagonal Dining Room has built in cabinets and buffets. The hanging light fixture has been replace a number of times over the years. Art glass French doors in the Living Room lead to the terrace on the south end...  Continued...
     
 
 
 
Interior Images 2008
     

These six interior images were photographed in 2008 for the resale of the Henderson Residence by Historic Homes Realty.  There are over 80 art glass windows, elegant woodwork, three brick fireplaces, and many original built-ins. The 27 foot long entry Hallway includes built-in seating and stippled ceiling finish. The original gas two light wall sconces were replaced by Art Glass prairie styled single vertical sconces.  All the radiators were

   encased with original and custom wood grill work.  The magnificent twelve foot wide brick fireplace is the center of the home. The octagonal Library includes built-in bookcases, and the matching octagonal Dining Room has built in cabinets and buffets. The hanging light fixture was replaced.
      
"Frank Lloyd Wright’s Henderson House"  Courtesy of Historic Homes Realty...  Continued...
 
 
 
 
Exterior Images November 2008
     

On a recent trip from Chicago to Seattle, my daughter gave me a few short minutes to stop and see the Henderson Residence again.  There are many classic Prairie styled details. The basic materials are wood, stucco and brick. Strong horizontal lines, low-pitched roof, broad overhanging eaves, horizontal rows of leaded

  glass windows and doors, the prominent centrally located fireplace and chimney, open first floor plan, a terrace and covered porch, anchoring the home by placing it on an enlarged concrete base. There are over 80 art glass windows, elegant woodwork, three brick fireplaces, and many original built-ins...  Continued...
     
 
 
Text by Douglas M. Steiner, Copyright 2008
 
 
Related Books
"Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe von Frank Lloyd Wright" Wright, 1910,  Tafel XXVII.
"The Book of Chicagoans", Marquis, 1917, page 318.
"The Nature of Materials: 1887 - 1941", Hitchcock, 1942, pp 32, 42, plates 66-68.
"Frank Lloyd Wright to 1910, The First Golden Age", Manson, Grant, 1958, page 108, 216.
"Studies and Executed Buildings By Frank Lloyd Wright", Wright, 1975, Tafel XXVII.
"Frank Lloyd Wright, His Life and His Architecture", Twombly, 1979,  pp 66-67.
"Frank Lloyd Wright Monograph 1887-1901",  Vol. 1, Text: Pfeiffer, Bruce Brooks; Edited and Photographed: Futagawa, Yukio, 1991, pp 204-207.
"Frank Lloyd Wright In His Renderings 1887-1959",  Vol. 12, Text: Pfeiffer, Bruce Brooks; Edited and Photographed: Futagawa, Yukio, 1990, plate 19.
"Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie Style Masterpiece", Balluff, 1992, pp 8.
"The Wright Style", Lind, 1992, pp36, 120-121.
"The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion", Storrer, William Allin, 1993, page 54.
"Frank Lloyd Wright and the Meaning of Material" Patterson, 1994, page 22.
"Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fireplaces" Lind, 1995, pp 29-31.
"The Vision of Frank Lloyd Wright" Heinz, 2000, page pp 81, 84, 99-100.
"Frank Lloyd Wright’s Houses" Heinz, 2002, page 20-21.
"Life & Works of Frank Lloyd Wright" Heinz, 2002, page 104.
"National Register of Historic Places, Henderson, Frank B. Residence" Follett, 2002, pp 26.
"Frank Lloyd Wright's Chicago", O'Gorman, Thomas J., 2004, pp 130-33, 139, 148, 166.
"Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie Houses", Hess, 2006, pp12, 38-47.
"Frank Lloyd Wright’s Henderson House" Historic Homes Reality, 2008, pp 4.
"Frank Lloyd Wright American Master", Weintraub; Smith, 2009, pages 46-49.
 
 
Related Images and Articles
(Note, due to the fact that the internet is constantly changing, and items that
are posted change, I have copied the text, but give all the credits available.)
A) Scores of Robins Visit Local Yard - Elmhurst Press, March 20, 1936
B) Henry Webster Tomlinson Biography 2004 (pp 5-6)
C) The Book of Chicagoans - Published by A. N. Marquis & Company, October 1917, Page 318.
 
 
Additional Wright Studies
  Banff National Park Pavilion (S.170)    Bitter Root Inn (S.145)    Blair Residence (S.351)    Blumberg Residence (Project) 
  Brandes Residence (S.350)    Browne's Bookstore (S.141)    Como Orchard Summer Colony (S.144)    Copper Weed Urn & Weed Holder  
  Disappearing City (1932)    Elam Residence (S.336)    "Eve of St. Agnes" (1896)   Frank L. Smith Bank (S.111)    Gordon Residence (S.419) 
 
Griggs Residence (S.290)    Heller Residence (S.038)    Henderson Residence (S.057)    Hoffman Showroom (S.380)    Horner Residence (S.142) 
  "House Beautiful" 1896-98    Husser Residence (S.046) 
  Imperial Hotel (S.194) Silverware and Monogram    Japanese Print Stand (1908) 
  Kalil Residence (S.387)    Lake Geneva Hotel (S.171)
   Lamp Cottage, Rocky Roost (S.021)    Lockridge Medical Clinic (S.425)  
  March Balloons    Midway Gardens (S.180)    Midway Gardens Dish (S.180)    Nakoma Clubhouse    Opus 497   Pebbles & Balch Remodel (S.131) 
  
Roloson Rowhouse (S.026)    Shavin Residence (S.339)    Sixty Years Exhibition 1951-56    Steffens Residence (S.153)    Stohr Arcade (S.162)  
  Stromquiest Residence (S.429)   
Sutton Residence (S.106)    Teater Studio (S.352)    Thurber Art Galleries (S.154)    Tracy Residence (S.389)  
  Trier Residence (S.398)    Usonian Automatic Homes    Williams (Way & Williams) (S.033)   
Zimmerman Residence, (S.333) 
 
Frank Lloyd Wright's First Published Article (1898)
 
Photographic Chronology of Frank Lloyd Wright Portraits
 
"Frank Lloyd Wright's Nakoma Clubhouse & Sculptures." A comprehensive study of Wright’s Nakoma Clubhouse and the Nakoma and Nakomis Sculptures. Now Available. Limited Edition. More information.

 

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